Richard to head Penn State Institutes of Energy and the Environment

October 29, 2007

Thomas L. Richard, associate professor of agricultural and biological engineering and director of the Biomass Energy Center, will become the new director of the Penn State Institutes of Energy and the Environment, effective Jan. 1.

Penn State Institutes of Energy and the Environment aims to expand the University's capacity to pursue the newest frontiers in energy and environmental research by encouraging cooperation across academic disciplines and the participation of local, state, federal, and international stakeholders. PSIEE brings together eight Penn State academic colleges and several University research institutes and centers.

Richard received his master of science in agricultural engineering and doctoral degree in biological engineering from Cornell University in 1987 and 1997 respectively, and his bachelor of science in political economy of natural resources from UC-Berkeley in 1978. He was appointed as an assistant professor of agricultural and biosystems engineering at Iowa State University in 1997 and was promoted to associate professor in 2003, also serving as chair of the graduate program in sustainable agriculture.

In 2004 he came to Penn State as an associate professor in the Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering, and in 2006 became director of the Biomass Energy Center, a university-wide center fostering interdisciplinary and stakeholder collaborations on production, processing and utilization of sustainable bioenergy systems.

Richard's research interests lie in the application of bioprocess engineering to agricultural and environmental problems, including microbial conversion of biomass, agricultural byproducts and manures for nutrient, energy, and organic matter recovery and value-added manufacturing; design and analysis of composting processes; and nutrient, carbon, and energy flows in agricultural ecosystems.

His research has received support from multiple sources including National Science Foundation, U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Department of Energy.

  • Tom Richard

    IMAGE: Penn State
Last Updated November 18, 2010